HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of healthcare market intelligence, reports the Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century has released its recommendations to restructure the state's healthcare delivery system. According to the latest Buffalo Market Overview, the details of how to implement the changes pose a significant challenge and local hospital leaders have no guarantee of receiving the funding to make the recommended changes.
"According to the commission, once healthcare is streamlined regionally, area hospitals will enjoy lower overall fixed costs since these are being spread over a shrinking number of patients," states Renee Burnham, HealthLeaders-InterStudy market analyst and author of the report. "Additionally, quality of service at underutilized hospitals should rise when physicians and facilities perform a more regular volume of procedures."
The new vision for the region entails having two strong health systems - a newly merged entity composed of Kaleida Health and Erie County Medical Center Corp., serving as the area's tertiary referral center and central location of medical training programs; and Catholic Health System, another leading provider of medical services, including community hospitals and both primary- and long-term care services.
The commission's acute-care recommendations in the Buffalo area call for closing two hospitals, converting one to long-term care and effecting two additional mergers. Commissioners recommended that Inter-Community Memorial Hospital in Newfane and Lockport Memorial Hospital continue joint management negotiations, and that Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and Mount St. Mary's Hospital and Health Center in Lewiston restart joint operating talks that ended abruptly in the 1990s.
Other news in the Buffalo healthcare market: * Competition among Medicare Advantage plans is strong as BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York announced significantly reduced costs of its Medicare Advantage plans in 2007, while Independent Health's Encompass 65 members have been raving about the SilverSneakers program, which offers no-cost fitness sessions tailored specifically for seniors. * Local physician groups participated in pay-for-performance programs as part of a new initiative at the Catholic Independent Practice Association to manage chronic diseases including pediatric asthma, diabetes, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease and depression. About Market Overviews
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